How Security Dealers Can Cash In on Wireless Electronic Locks
Pros from across the industry share their stories of their love for wireless locks and why you’d be foolish not to get in on the action.
THE use of door locks, the first layer in effective perimeter security, has been commonplace for hundreds of years. Historically, the first known mechanical locks appeared in ancient Rome. Mechanical locks continue to serve the public well today. However, in recent years lock manufacturers – such as Yale, Sargent, Master, Arrow, Medeco and others – have come to see that many end users want or need additional features and benefits that mechanical locks simply cannot provide on their own.
One such benefit is a simple and effective way to dial users in and out at a moment’s notice without hiring someone to rekey a building or house full of mechanical locks, which is an expensive proposition given the fact that rekeying is a rather common event in homes and businesses. This is especially true of apartment buildings and multitenant high-rise structures. The outcome of this realization has been a marriage between mechanical and electronic access using what has quickly become one of the most promising, up-and-coming sellers in residential, commercial, and multitenant applications.
Wireless, standalone electronic locks, some which contain proximity card readers, will often accommodate multiple users. They also integrate with other systems and Internet of Things (IoT)-connected gadgets, and they wirelessly connect to home and business alarm systems as well as the occupant’s smartphones. Best of all, these access control devices easily replace existing cylindrical and mortise locksets, which means that almost anyone with even a minimum amount of mechanical aptitude can cash in on this trend.
It’s a Wireless World After All
Is there any doubt that today we’re living in a wireless world? Although metallic and glass-fiber cable will always exist in residential and commercial applications, more and more we’re seeing the adoption of radio-based communication in a growing number of venues.
For example, there was a day when an electrified lock of any kind required wires to connect it to a control device. In some cases this control device might be a simple momentary pushbutton switch while in other instances it’s a sophisticated controller in a large access control system. Any time a hard cable is used, the installation company must also incorporate additional support equipment; such as hangers; conduit and raceway; continuous hinges; and flexible, armored door cords with screw-in contact blocks. Now, security companies can install door locks wirelessly so they connect with access control systems, smartphones, handheld transmitters and other devices.
“The technology has caught up and there’s a lot of self-powered equipment out there that use ion batteries. Now it’s possible to do nearly everything on battery power, which saves us a lot of money,” says Steve Norch, owner, Bierly-Litman Lock & Door of Canton, Ohio. “Even in the early stages of wireless, it wasn’t a matter of getting a Category-5 to where we needed it, but rather a matter of cost to do so.”
Wireless, standalone electronic locks are especially helpful not only because they require no metallic wires, but because of the many security features they bring to the table, features such as single-point, multiple-lock programming and the ability to track user activity. And best of all, security technicians are usually able to install them without any special knowledge, especially when working in retrofit situations because these locks are designed to fit almost any door where there is currently an auxiliary lock and/or a common lockset.
“Standalone [electronic] locks are the perfect application for security integration. The event history and real-time notifications of when the locks are used, when the locks are tampered with and the ability to remotely lock or unlock is sometimes a lifesaver,” says Dennis Kobasuk, owner of D&D Lock Service located in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. “We now have the ability to allow access to our homes without releasing any codes. We can also provide a single use code, a code with an expiration [date/time], or we can simply remove the code at any point – all from our smartphone, tablet or computer.”
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